28. Dear Gabby: Sewing and Fitting for Drag: *Inside Edition*

I was thinking not too long ago about how we are all sewing for our bodies, and how apparel and fashion these days tends to center on comfort and mobility. But what about people who are sewing for themselves with a completely different body type than their physical presentation? Of course, there are things like shapers, binders, push up bras, and corsets. I’m referring to people that are not only creating their own personalized body type, but a totally different performance persona—not just about accenting or reducing, with comfort top of mind, and completely outside of any ASTM standard. As in: drag. I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with a colleague of mine from years past located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who performs as the incredibly talented Maxi.

Image shows Maxi the Drag Queen smiling, mouth open with curly red hair shining, swirling a lightweight rainbow colored dress with joy!
Image shows Maxi the Drag Queen smiling, mouth open with curly red hair shining, swirling a lightweight rainbow colored dress with joy!

Wayne Laberda is an experienced apparel designer in the ready-to-wear manufacturing industry and has additionally worked in fabric development, trend research, color and print, as well as performing as Maxi. Wayne creates all of Maxi’s performance outfits, and all of her body modification accessories—I needed to hear more!

Please enjoy our interview below. We chat not only about Wayne’s creative process, but how he’s able to separate his day job from his performances, his favorite sewing machine, fabrics and embellishments, and what drag really means to him. He also offers some tips for anyone wanting to get into drag themselves and how to get started making your own costumes. It’s simply fascinating! (And don’t worry, in a future post I will be chatting with Maxi herself and exploring her closet in detail.)

I know you’re all curious, so Wayne kindly agreed to give us an inside look into his sewing area and show us his favorite machine!

Please enjoy this small taste of the sheer talent Wayne possesses and his mastery of skill—until next time, when I talk to Maxi herself!

Wayne’s book recommendations:

Makin’ It With Maxi: Hip Pad Tutorial

Find Wayne as Maxi on Instagram!

Stay tuned for sequins…


Gabby is a technical designer, fit specialist, and prolific googler. She lives in Denver, raises tiny littles, reads, embroiders, makes, experiments, fails, learns, tries again. See her on instagram @ladygrift.


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